Wally Pfister On Christopher Nolan And THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Nothing too revealing but still, an interesting interview with cinematographer Wally Pfister. Pfister talks IMAX vs 3D, the schedule of shooting TDKR and the challenge of working with Christopher Nolan.

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By Mark Julian - 4/5/2012
Speaking to British Cinematographer, Wally Pfister discusses working with Nolan on several films and a few other minor details on the film making aspect of The Dark Knight Rises.

Q: What are your thoughts on this collaboration with Chris Nolan?

WP: This is the sixth film I’ve made with Chris. Our collaboration began on Memento – we got along together very well, and saw eye to eye – we have similar filmmaking sensibilities. This has only gotten stronger, and here we are on our third Batman film. I think we bring out the best in each other, the way we analyse the material, find new depths, and figure out the best way to put it on the screen.

Q: Batman has been incredibly successful. So how are you going to ‘wow’ the audience this time around?

WP: You’re right, The Dark Knight made, upwards of $1bilion at the box office, so there’s lots of pressure to up the ante, to create a bigger bang than the previous movie. Chris came to me with the project, said it was the third and concluding part of a trilogy. He wanted there to be a bridge between The Dark Knight and this one, so I set about getting a look that is combination of previous films, while also being original. Batman movies have always been dark. So we’re covering some ground from the previous films, but there’s something new in this one. Chris also wanted to ‘up’ action. We’re shooting segments on IMAX again, and this will really elevate the visual aspect of the film.

Q: What was your prep time on the film?

WP: Chris came to me with project at end of last year. I read the script at Christmas, and then had about four months prep, during which time I travelled across the world scouting locations and assembling the crews in different countries. I also spent lots of time back in LA mapping things out with Chris, before we kicked off in India in April this year.

Q: How about 3D?

WP: We’re not huge fans of 3D, and believe you get more out of IMAX – a more immersive quality for the audience. People really respond to it. It looks big and exciting and people like that in the theatre, rather than a dim 3D experience with glasses. The wonderful thing about this production is that we have shot more IMAX than we did on The Dark Knight, which is groundbreaking. We shot 28 minutes last time on IMAX, but we’re now upwards of 50 minutes on this film.

Q: What can you reveal about the plot?

WP: Not much! It’s the continuing story of Batman, beginning where it left off last time, with Batman on the run and Gotham City facing continual problems. They realise they need Batman back, but there are new villains he has to tackle. What I can say is that Chris has gathered a lovely family ensemble cast – with Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne again, Gary Oldman back as Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Michael Caine as Alfred. He has also reunited Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who we worked with on Inception.

Q: What’s been the greatest challenge so far on the production?

WP: Keeping up with Chris. He likes to shoot incredibly fast, and a 15 or 20-minute lighting set-up is not unusual. We have to be on our toes at all times.



There's a lot more in the interview over at the source, Pfister touches on some of the more technical aspects of filming and talks a little more about his crew and the shooting schedule.



Running Time: Unknown
Release Date: July 20 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: Unknown
Starring: Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (screenplay), David S. Goyer (story)


The Dark Knight Rises is an upcoming superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third installment in Nolan's Batman film series, and is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). The Dark Knight Rises is intended to be the conclusion of the series. It stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman. The film will take place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and will introduce the characters of Selina Kyle and Bane—portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy, respectively—two villains from the Batman mythology.








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24 Comments
antonio - 4/5/2012, 7:42 AM
Wally Pfister, Roger Deakins, and Janusz Kaminski are my main inspirations for becoming a cinematographer in the future. Very good little interview. I'm sure TDKR IMAX will be unlike anything we've ever seen before.
JDUKE25 - 4/5/2012, 7:42 AM
I agree. I prefer awesome high quality IMAX over 3D any day. Hopefully will see this in IMAX but I will be seeing The Amazing Spider-Man in 3D since it was shot specifically for 3D.
antonio - 4/5/2012, 7:53 AM
@JDUKE 3D is great when done right. I think Tron: Legacy and Avatar were extremely overrated, but the 3D for both films was incredible. I will admit I really liked Transformers: DOTM, but the 3D made it even better. I will definitely be seeing TASM at midnight in IMAX 3D.
antonio - 4/5/2012, 7:57 AM
Great find @MarkJullian.
Fogs - 4/5/2012, 8:09 AM
Awesome!

And Shark troll don't have a clue.
MovieMann - 4/5/2012, 8:17 AM
@Ironman53

Keep dreaming bud.
GingerBird - 4/5/2012, 8:18 AM
Anyone hoping for "unused" Joker footage showing up in TDKR will be sorely disappointed.
SageMode - 4/5/2012, 8:26 AM
Someone should show him how to help do a coherent fight scene, along with the choreographer.
Sanderman - 4/5/2012, 8:29 AM
there should be some kind of nod of the joker in this. even if they just mention his name
Fogs - 4/5/2012, 8:30 AM
TheSharkKnight - you wish nolan made you. lol!
Fogs - 4/5/2012, 8:32 AM
Nolan must have trouble avoiding your efforts on hanging his balls around, kids!

movie will be good though.
WolvieCBM - 4/5/2012, 8:40 AM
Out of a deep, dark hole, The Shark Boy reveals himself. Gotta love it.

Great interview.
soberchimera - 4/5/2012, 8:43 AM
Any news on Pfister's upcoming directoral debut?
GreyChaos13Zero - 4/5/2012, 8:45 AM
@Ironman53
I would love too see a nod or something for the Joker, that would be epic?)
MovieMann - 4/5/2012, 8:49 AM
@Ironman53

Personally I think it's a sure bet that the events of The Dark Knight will be mentioned, especially the Joker. I don't think that they will just forget about everything that happened.
AlexDeLarge87 - 4/5/2012, 8:53 AM
tea@ LOL gotta love Bugs Bunny ;)
AlexDeLarge87 - 4/5/2012, 9:00 AM
Yeah next time they make Batman movie i wanna see more kicking in Scott Adkins style!



AlexDeLarge87 - 4/5/2012, 9:01 AM
Batman should go back on Ninjitsu!
sicknimon - 4/5/2012, 9:06 AM
All these movies this summer are going to be awesome! Nolan is definitly an amazing director and story teller. I don't believe this should take away from any of the other movies coming out. This is truly an amazing summer for us comic book lovers!
sicknimon - 4/5/2012, 9:07 AM
@SirWinsalot - I agree. Even if it's just a t.v. on in the background that gives a news update, something is going to have to be in there. Maybe joker will die in the jail house shower room slipping on a bar of soap!
Minghagz - 4/5/2012, 10:14 AM
This was a great interview. I'm really glad that they focused on IMAX rather than 3D. I'm really not a fan of 3D. The idea is cool but it never really "wow's" me and it starts to hurt your eyes having to wear those damn glasses. I always go see the 2D versions.
antonio - 4/5/2012, 10:56 AM
They'll probably give a nod to what has happened to him over the past 8 years.
CoolantTech - 4/5/2012, 3:57 PM
Great interview, Love TDKR & Avengers BTW
Fogs - 4/9/2012, 8:08 AM
Sharkie is a kid, people. Don't mess with him or you'll be prosecuted as bullies.

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